Saturday, September 29, 2007
Mason Lancer: Secret Agent
NUMB3RS kicked off its fourth season with a dense episode directed by co-executive producer Tony Scott, who demonstrated he's as bad a television director as he is in films. Not only is the episode packed with technobabble (even more so than usual for a series about a mathematician who helps the FBI solves crimes), but nearly every shot is a gimmick--washed-out image, jittery camera, extreme closeup of a body part having nothing to do with the story, double exposures, gratuitous post-production effects that do nothing to advance the characters and story and much to expose how talentless Scott is. He even managed to waste a guest shot by Val Kilmer, making his first network episodic television appearance. Kilmer is fine in a role he probably only worked for one day, but it's a part that a lot of different actors could have played exactly the same way. It didn't need a Val Kilmer, as written and directed. I'm still looking forward to NUMB3RS' new season. It isn't an essential part of my TV diet, but the cast generally makes it a comfortable one.